AP NEWS

Transportation industry rolling with commercial truck, school bus driver jobs

March 18, 2019

The transportation industry is one that continues to see a rising demand for workers across the country. Specific areas experiencing this need include commercial truck driving, in which workers haul raw material and finished goods over long distances, and school district bus driving.

The commercial truck driving industry prioritizes safety awareness, with the goal of protecting the welfare and safety of the truckers on the road.

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, employment of heavy and tractor-trailer truck drivers is projected to grow 6 percent from 2016 to 2026, about as fast as the average for all occupations.

In 2017, the average truck driving salary was $42,480 per year, or $20.42 per hour.

Truck driving also comes with various opportunities for advancement to other positions such as dispatcher, recruiter or manager, manager or owner operator. An added bonus is that it also gives you the chance to travel.

San Jacinto College’s continuing and professional development department offers a truck driving certificate course in its applied technology and trades program.

The six-week, 246-hour course includes classroom and driving training, and upon completion, entry-level drivers can apply for their commercial driver’s license (CDL) from the state of Texas to begin their career as a truck driver.

The course material covers federal laws, defensive driving techniques, and other related topics. Students will also be driving different vehicles in varying road conditions, allowing them to gain key experience driving tanker trucks, flatbeds and vans.

After completing the course, students will receive the certificate, which should help them land a job, as most companies seek drivers with one or two years of experience, or proof of completion of a certified educational program such as San Jacinto College’s program.

The greater Houston area is also regularly seeking new school bus drivers in districts all across the region.

The Houston Independent School District (HISD) Transportation Department is one of the largest single district providers of school bus service in the state of Texas.

It aims to provide safe, professional and efficient transportation to and from school as well as on educational field trips, and to athletic competitions and other events.

The department employs more than 1,200 employees and has currently has about 1,000 buses in service to transport thousands of students to and from school every day.

HISD transportation offers CDL training classes to its prospective drivers. Upon completion, drivers can earn competitive pay, with a guaranteed minimum of five hours per day.

The district also offers health, dental, vision and other benefits, as well as retirement plan options. As far as requirements, drivers must be at least 18 years old with a valid Texas driver’s license.

They must also be able to pass a background check, have a Motor Vehicle Report below six points, and must be able to pass a drug/alcohol screening, as well as a Department of Transportation physical.

They must also be customer-service focused.

For more information about San Jacinto College’s truck driving program, visit www.sanjac.edu.

For HISD transportation, contact the human resources department at 713-613-3068, or visit www.houstonisd.org/drivehisd for more information.